We need to kick on at home to Queens

Raith boss Grant Murray passes on instructions as Rory McKeown prepares to take a throw-in at Easter Road on Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Raith boss Grant Murray passes on instructions as Rory McKeown prepares to take a throw-in at Easter Road on Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray wants his team to ‘kick on’ at home to Queen of the South in Friday night’s live televised match.

Rovers go into the match on the back of two consecutive draws against Falkirk and Hibs, but now the boss is gunning for three points.

The visitors would leapfrog Raith into third place with a victory at Stark’s Park, but a Raith win would see them shoot into second place, above Rangers, who do not play this weekend.

Murray told the Press: “We’re at home and we want to kick on after a good performance on Saturday.

“We gave a great account of ourselves at Easter Road; now we have to build on that at home.

“No one can expect to win any game in this division but it’s a game we know we’re capable of winning if we do things properly.

“Queens have started the season well and although they lost 3-0 at home to Hearts on Saturday, they played well in the game, by all accounts.

“We know we’re in for a very close and difficult game.”

Murray has made very few changes to the starting 11 in recent matches, with the likes of Mark Stewart, Grant Anderson and Lewis Vaughan all struggling to get into the side.

Murray stressed, however, that players are not automatically guaranteed their place in the side based on their displays in games.

“Players have from Monday to Friday to get into the team,” he said. “A team selection can change based on what we see at training.

“It’s great when the team goes out and performs on a Saturday, but we look at every game differently.

“We used the same starting 11 against Falkirk and Hibs but changed the system because of the different way those teams play.

“Queens play in a different way to Hibs so we will need to look at it again, although the onus can’t just be on stopping the other team - we have to go and attack.

“The team did very well at Easter Road, but we’ve got a squad of players here and we’re more than willing to use them.

“Mark Stewart came off the bench on Saturday and did really well, while there are others who just have to wait for their chance at this moment in time. But it’s nice to have these selection problems.”

There was good news for Raith on the injury front this week when defender Dougie Hill made his first appearance of the season in a development league match against Stirling on Monday night.

Hill played 70 minutes of the match, which Rovers won 3-1, although Murray revealed that he is not yet ready for a first team return.

“He’s been doing some light training and needs some more game time in the reserves,” he said.

Rovers were handed an interesting tie in the Scottish Cup third round this week – an away trip to junior side Linlithgow Rose.

Linlithgow, who play in the East Region Super League, expect a sell-out crowd at their 3500-capacity Prestonfield ground for the November 1 tie.

Murray added: “It’s a big gmae for them, which makes it a difficult one for us.

“We’ve got to be professional and give them the same respect as we would anyone else in the cup. When the game comes around, we’ll be totally focused.”

Friday’s match against Queen of the South kicks off at 7.30 p.m and is broadcast live on BBC Alba.